Saint John's Cemetery, Little Canada, Minnesota

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Saint John's Cemetery

Informative marker commemorating the community of French and Native American ancestry.
Address: 380 Little Canada Road E
Little Canada, Minnesota
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Historic Function: Cemetery/burial grounds
Current Function: Cemetery/burial grounds

Little Canada Ramsey

Saint John's Cemetery, Little Canada, Minnesota
(45.021166° N, 93.084736° WLatitude: 45°1′16.198″N
Longitude: 93°5′5.05″W

Located near an historic center of Ramsey County's Metis people, the cemetery has an informative marker commemorating this community of French and Native American ancestry. The French came here from Canada — hence "Little Canada"—and became part of the Native American settlement at what is now called Savage Lake. Slandered in most conventional Minnesota history as low-life "half-breeds" like "Pig's Eye" Parrant, the Metis (French for "mixed") created stable communities generations before the Yankee New Englanders arrived in the 1840s.

Their numerous descendants are a living link to the original indigenous people of this area. Centerville Road itself, originally a Native American ricing trail, leads directly to another historic Metis cemetery at St. Genevieve parish in Centerville.

An uncle of the legendary Canadian Metis leader Louis Reil lived in St. Paul in the 1880s, where he worked as a stonecutter. The stonecutters had one of the first unions in St. Paul. Nearby is Gervais Grist Mill, one block east of St. John's on Little Canada Road and one block north on Noel St. This was the first commercial grist mill in Minnesota, opened in 1844.


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